Thursday, January 20, 2022

Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite and NBA 2K for ‘Stealing’ His Famous ‘Carlton Dance’


*“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro is suing two video game developers for selling a dance popularized by his Carlton character, TMZ reports.

In two lawsuits filed Monday, Ribeiro said Fortnite developer Epic Games Inc., and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., creator of the NBA 2K series, have “unfairly profited” from using his likeness and from exploiting his “protected creative expression.”

Rapper 2 Milly has also sued 2K Games for putting his dance, “The Milly Rock,” in NBA 2K.

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In the docs obtained by TMZ, Alfonso says he is “inextricably linked” to the dance, which he first performed during the 1991 Christmas episode of “Fresh Prince”.

“Twenty-seven years later, The Dance remains distinctive, immediately recognizable, and inextricably linked to Ribeiro’s identity, celebrity, and likeness,” the lawsuits say. The suit noted that Fortnite released a new dance back in January that its characters can perform called the “Fresh emote,” … and it’s identical to the moves Ribeiro created on the ’90s sitcom.

Alfonso also claims he’s in the middle of copyrighting the Carlton dance.

His attorney, David Hecht of Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP, said, “It is widely recognized that Mr. Ribeiro’s likeness and intellectual property have been misappropriated by Epic Games in the most popular video game currently in the world, Fortnite.”

He continues, “Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like “Fresh.” Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property.”

According to the suit, Alfonso Ribeiro is asking the court for damages and that both companies stop profiting from the Carlton dance. 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.



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